The concept of innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) includes both conventional natural killer (NK) cells and helper ILCs, which resemble CD8+
killer T cells and CD4+
helper T cells in acquired immunity, respectively. Conventional NK cells are migratory cytotoxic cells that find tumor cells or cells infected with microbes. Helper ILCs are localized at peripheral tissue and are responsible for innate helper-cytokine production. Helper ILCs are classified into three subpopulations: TH
1-like ILC1s, TH
2-like ILC2s, and TH
22-like ILC3s. Because of the functional similarities between ILCs and T cells, ILCs can serve as an innate component that augments each corresponding type of acquired immunity. However, the physiological functions of ILCs are more plastic and complicated than expected and are affected by environmental cues and types of inflammation. Here, we review recent advances in understanding the interaction between ILCs and acquired immunity, including T- and B-cell responses at various conditions. Immune suppressive activities by ILCs in particular are discussed in comparison to their immune stimulatory effects to gain precise knowledge of ILC biology and the physiological relevance of ILCs in human diseases.
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